The Ravens never expected to be 2-6 at the bye. Will they fare better, or worse, in the second half of the season, now that wide receiver Steve Smith (torn Achilles) has been lost for the year? Here are five Ravens who have underperformed in the first half of the season who need to step up:
- Kyle Arrington, CB
The Ravens hoped they were getting a consistent nickel corner when they signed Arrington as a free agent. Instead, Arrington has struggled at times sticking with receivers and assignments in traffic. Shareece Wright, who was not signed until last month, has already supplanted Arrington as the third corner behind Jimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb. The Ravens are still thin at cornerback, so it would help their secondary if Arrington stepped up his play.
- Marlon Brown, WR
Hard to believe Brown had seven touchdowns as a rookie in 2013, but no touchdowns since. The Ravens have been waiting for the rookie version of Brown to reappear, but so far it hasn’t happened. Brown has just 13 catches for 106 yards this season, despite numerous opportunities. If Brown’s production doesn’t pick up, his future with the Ravens will clearly be in doubt.
- Timmy Jernigan, DT
The Ravens hoped Jernigan would take his play to another level after Haloti Ngata’s departure, but that hasn’t materialized yet. However, Jernigan looked more active Week 8 against the Chargers and may be in line for a strong November and December if he stays healthy. Ravens defensive tackle Brandon Williams is having a Pro Bowl caliber year. If Jernigan needs an example to follow, he simply needs to look at Williams.
- Eugene Monroe, LT
Staying healthy has been a problem the last two years for Monroe, and the Ravens have not gotten what they expected when he signed a five-year, $37.5 million deal last year. The Ravens need Monroe in the lineup and playing solid football, protecting Joe Flacco’s blind side.
- Jimmy Smith, CB
Smith may not be fully recovered from last year’s foot injury, which makes it more difficult to take chances and play aggressively. Despite being beaten for a few big plays this season, Smith remains talented enough to be one of the NFL’s top corners. That’s the Smith the Ravens need.
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